Cambridge Dictionary redefines ‘woman’ to include men

The dictionary provides examples of how to use the new definition in conversation. In one example, the dictionary writes “Mary is a woman who was assigned male at birth.”

woman
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(Daily Caller News Foundation) — Cambridge Dictionary updated its definition of the term “woman” to include anyone who identifies as female, including biological males.

The online dictionary defines “woman” as “an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth,” according to its website. The new definition is in addition to the conventional definition, which defines a woman as “an adult human female being.”

The dictionary provides examples of how to use the new definition in conversation. In one example, the dictionary writes “Mary is a woman who was assigned male at birth.”

“She was the first trans woman elected to a national office,” another example claims.

A Cambridge Dictionary spokesperson told The Telegraph that the decision to update the term was made in October.

“They carefully studied usage patterns of the word woman and concluded that this definition is one that learners of English should be aware of to support their understanding of how the language is used,” the spokesperson reportedly said. “The first definition at the entry for woman remains unchanged and continues to be ‘an adult female human being.’”

The spokesperson then explained that the dictionary is constantly changing “to reflect changes in how English is used, based on analysis of data from this corpus.”

“Our dictionaries are written for learners of English and are designed to help users understand English as it is currently used,” the spokesperson said. “They are compiled by analysing a large corpus of English texts (over two billion words in total) taken from all areas of writing and publishing, which allows us to see exactly how language is used.”

In addition to updating the term “woman,” the term “man” was also revised to include reference to biological women.

Man is now defined as “an adult who lives and identifies as male though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.”

Like the other entry, the dictionary provided examples of how to use the newly defined word in a sentence, writing that “Mark is a trans man (= a man who was said to be female when they were born).”

“Their doctor encouraged them to live as a man for a while before undergoing surgical transition,” the dictionary also wrote to put the term in context.

Cambridge Dictionary did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

 

Alexa Schwerha